What does it mean to do public policy ethics today? How should philosophers engage with ethical issues in policy-making when policy decisions are circumscribed by political and pragmatic concerns? How do ethical issues in public policy differ between areas such as foreign policy, criminal justice, or environmental policy?

The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy addresses all these questions and more, and is the first handbook of its kind. It is comprised of 41 chapters written by leading international contributors, and is organised into four clear sections covering the following key topics:

  • Methodology: philosophical approaches to public policy, ethical expertise, knowledge, and public policy
  • Democracy and public policy: identity, integration and inclusion: voting, linguistic policy, discrimination, youth policy, religious toleration, and the family
  • Public goods: defence and foreign policy, development and climate change, surveillance and internal security, ethics of welfare, healthcare and fair trade, sovereignty and territorial boundaries, and the ethics of nudging
  • Public policy challenges: criminal justice, policing, taxation, poverty, disability, reparation, and ethics of death policies.

The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, politics, and social policy. It will be equally useful to those in related disciplines, such as economics and law, or professional fields, such as business administration or policy-making in general.

chapter |9 pages


ByAnnabelle Lever, Andrei Poama

part I|78 pages

Ethics for public policy

chapter 1|12 pages

Method in philosophy and public policy

Applied philosophy versus engaged philosophy
ByJonathan Wolff

chapter 2|12 pages

The public role of ethics and public policy

ByJeffrey Howard

chapter 3|14 pages

Application or construction?

Two types of public policy ethics
ByAndrei Poama

chapter 4|11 pages

Public policy and normative methods

ByAlbert Weale

chapter 5|14 pages

Models, mechanisms, metrics

The entanglement of methods of policy inquiry with democratic possibilities
BySusan Orr, James Johnson

chapter 6|13 pages

Ethical expertise and public policy

ByJohn Harris, David Lawrence

part II|138 pages

Public policy and the basics of government

chapter 7|11 pages

Security and police ethics

ByJohn Kleinig

chapter 8|13 pages

More than privacy

Thinking ethically about public area surveillance
ByBenjamin Goold

chapter 9|14 pages

Ethics and criminal justice policy

ByMatt Matravers

chapter 10|14 pages

Territoriality and personality

Concepts and normative considerations
ByHelder De Schutter

chapter 12|10 pages

The ethics of education policies

ByDavid Steiner

chapter 13|12 pages

The ethics of tax policy

ByIra K. Lindsay

chapter 14|13 pages

The ethics of central banking

ByFrançois Claveau, Peter Dietsch, Clément Fontan

chapter 15|11 pages

Ethics and foreign policy

ByMichael Blake

chapter 16|12 pages

Justice and trade policy

ByAndrew Walton

chapter 17|13 pages

Democratic values and the limits of war

ByChristopher Kutz

part III|166 pages

Public policy, inclusion, and solidarity

chapter 18|13 pages

The political ethics of political campaigns

ByDennis F. Thompson

chapter 19|13 pages

Should voting be compulsory? Democracy and the ethics of voting

ByAnnabelle Lever, Alexandru Volacu

chapter 20|12 pages

The ethics of anti-corruption policies

ByEmanuela Ceva, Maria Paola Ferretti

chapter 21|14 pages

The ethics of anti-discrimination policies

ByKasper Lippert-Rasmussen

chapter 22|12 pages

Race, racism, and social policy

ByAlbert Atkin

chapter 23|13 pages

Gender-egalitarian policies in the workplace and the family

ByAnca Gheaus

chapter 24|12 pages

Disability, democratic equality, and public policy

ByDaniel Putnam

chapter 25|14 pages

The ethics of indigenous rights

ByTeddy Harrison, Melissa S. Williams

chapter 26|12 pages

The ethics of reparations policies

ByAlasia Nuti, Jennifer M. Page

chapter 27|12 pages

The ethics of anti-poverty policies

ByJonathan Wolff

chapter 28|12 pages

The democratic ethics of a minimum income

ByStuart White

chapter 29|13 pages

Public engagement in health policy

Mapping aims and approaches
ByMatthew S. McCoy, Ezekiel J. Emanuel

chapter 30|12 pages

The ethics of death policies

BySøren Holm

part IV|147 pages

Public policy, diversity, and sustainability

chapter 31|12 pages

The Ethics of family reunification

ByIseult Honohan

chapter 32|15 pages

Are civic integration tests justifiable?

A three-step test
ByBouke de Vries

chapter 33|12 pages

The ethics of language policies

ByAstrid von Busekist

chapter 34|13 pages

The ethics of toleration and religious accommodations

ByAurélia Bardon, Emanuela Ceva

chapter 35|13 pages

Freedom and destiny

How new technologies are influencing the ethics and policy of abortion
ByGiulia Cavaliere, John Harris

chapter 36|12 pages

Towards a democratic ethics of youth policies

ByJuliana Bidadanure

chapter 37|15 pages

Measuring intergenerational justice for public policy

ByPieter Vanhuysse, Jörg Tremmel

chapter 38|14 pages

Development and climate ethics

ByDarrel Moellendorf

chapter 39|12 pages

The ethics of waste policy

ByIvo Wallimann-Helmer

chapter 40|13 pages

The ethics of behavioural public policy

ByRobert Lepenies, Magdalena Małecka

chapter 41|14 pages

Ethics, neuroscience, and public policy

A case study of raising neuroscientists’ awareness of the problem of dual use
BySimon Whitby, Malcolm Dando